JASSO, Japan Student Services Organization, is well known among college students in Japan. JASSO offers two types of scholarship: scholarship loan and scholarship benefits. The former supports 1.3 million and the latter 2 million students approximately. These cover around 37% of student population in Japan: more than one out of three students are supported. JASSO’s generic scholarship is thus indispensable for students in Japan. This generic JASSO scholarship is however not available to students from the world. It is available also to a non-Japanese student, but only when s/he is a Permanent Resident (PR), a family member of a PR, or a spouse of Japanese. This means that an international student newly coming to Japan cannot apply.
Aside from JASSO, educational loan of Japan Finance Corporation, JFC, a public sector bank, is also well known and widely used because of a lower interest rate than others. Though Japanese nationality nor visa types are not mandated for application, it is still seen difficult for a new international student to get this public sector loan, because an applicant, who can be a student herself / himself or a parent, should have stable income and living already established in Japan.
Though these mainstreams of scholarship and educational loan can not be applied, there are quite a few other scholarship and support programs in public and private sectors, designed just for international students. It is recommended to look into them and see if any can be applied. JASSO sums up 150 some such scholarships in its annual brochure in English and Japanese. JASSO also posts on its web site an excel file listing all of university own scholarships and tuition exemption programs. These should be helpful for an international student looking for financial support.
Link: Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) – Scholarship for International Students in Japan (English)
Link: Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) – University’s’ own scholarships and tuition exemption programs (The link brings you to a Japanese page. Please download an excel file just below a title of “大学が独自に実施する奨学金・ 授業料減免制度検索”. The excel file has English and Japanese bilingual contents within.)